Wim Meyers of Meyers Softfruit:

"Belgium: "High strawberry production right now could be disastrous for December"

The strawberry market is going well and at the production areas the good weather is an advantages. According to Wim Meyers of Meyers Softfruit the sun is having a positive effect on the flavour and the general quality of the strawberries. "The only downside is that the volumes are higher than they usually are in October. This could be disastrous for December, when I expect very few strawberries. This is not only affecting me, I see it happening to colleagues too. Everything is a bit faster than normal."



He indicates that they are in the middle of the peak of the autumn cultivation in greenhouses at the moment. "It's all growing so fast, we already have a large head start compared to previous years. This means there will be less in December. Obviously, you can't stop the good weather. You can heat greenhouses, but you can't cool them down.. Looking back at last season: last year we picked two kilos per square metre and now we're at an average of between two and three kilos. Some cultivation are already at three kilos. This is the amount being harvested since the start of the autumn harvest until now."

Mediocre season
Wim noted that the prices are better than last year. "Back then October was a disastrous month. It's not great now, but the prices are fine compared to the same period last year. The average price at the moment is 3.20 per kilo, a price that can be counted for the month of October. The price is acceptable and you need that for an 'expensive' cultivation in greenhouses." He says the whole season together was mediocre. "August was a very good month, but prices in September were weak. At the beginning of October it pulled up a little, but two weeks ago there was a dip towards 2.40 per kilo. Now we're higher again. Growing is very different when you're over three Euro." He expects the market to remain stable over the next while. "We are in a peak, but over the next few weeks there won't be gigantic volumes any more. There is enough enthusiasm, and when the volumes decline the prices will probably go up. The strawberry market won't just suddenly collapse."



Blackberries

Meyers supplies most of his production to BelOrta. He also sells house to house. "House to house sales are still going, but it is receding compared to previous months. What is striking is that there is more interest in brambles this year. They are going very well, maybe the people are getting more used to them. We can't complain about the price either. We started the autumn cultivation in a dip but now the price has been between 1 Euro and 1.50 per 125 gram box for a number of weeks. That's a good level."

For more information:
Wim Meyers
Meyers Softfruit
Allewijstraat 3
B-3770 Riemst
GSM Wim: +32 (0)478 938826
F +32 (0)12 456647
E info@meyers-softfruit.be
W www.meyers-softfruit.be

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